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Got Marriage?

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posted on Apr, 24 2005 @ 01:09 PM
Coming to a billboard, subway or bus station near you:

Here’s something to think about the next time you’re trapped on the ever-less-dependable subway: the sanctity of marriage. Coming soon to the New York transit system is a national campaign promoting the ol’ ball and chain. “Married people earn more money.” “Kids of married parents do better in school.” “Married people live longer.” “Marriage works.” So say the get-hitched solicitations that have been plastered alongside photos of young brides and grooms in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., since February 1. It’s all part of a new marketing strategy from the abstinence-advocacy group Campaign for Our Children that is scheduled to hit New York’s subways and buses later this spring. The idea is that if teens learn to respect and look forward to marriage, they might not get pregnant before they tie the knot. The group, which is planning to take the message to other cities as well, is eligible to receive state and federal funding through the $870 million Helping America’s Youth initiative, a largely faith-based program announced by the Bush administration March 7. “We’re just trying to keep kids from having kids,” says Campaign for Our Children president Hal Donofrio. The MTA takes no official position on the ads, though spokesperson Tom Kelly cracks, “That campaign must’ve been invented by someone who’s not married.”

The marriage-happy people behind this campaign say that these ads are supposedly aimed at teens in an attempt to prevent pregnancy out of wedlock, however I can't see these ads appealing to kids. I feel that they are targeting people in their twenties and perhaps early thirties with their "upwardly mobile" economic message and "live longer" warning. I really doubt a teen who gets accidentaly preggers is stressing about what college to send her child to.

The television commercials are also a bit confusing:

"If any object to this union, speak now or forever hold your peace," a minister intones over a wedding montage in the television ads.

"But before you speak up, consider that by marrying, this man and woman will be healthier, they will live longer, and be more financially secure. Their kids will have stability, do better in school and be less likely to break the law.

"Any objections? Good!"

As the commercial ends, these words appear on the screen: "Marriage works."

While I agree that teens shouldn't be having kids, I just don't get that from these ads.

I think that this is part of a greater conspiracy promoted by the government to get us all to pair off in order to move the "burden" of women and children from the state to a husband. A paternal society has been the preferred economic structure since before biblical times (wonder why the old testament preaches for monogamy & marriage and against adultery, divorce & bastard children...)

This "Marriage Works!" concept is funded from the same $870 million well that spawned the Department of Health and Human services propaganda penned by paid journalist Maggie Gallagher, now the president of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy. The DHHS funded several placed articles, one was ghost-written by Gallagher and attributed to Wade Horn, Assistant Secretary of the DHHS, in Crisis magazine entitled "Closing The Marriage Gap".

Gallagher was also hired for another DHHS project, commissioned by several non-profits backed by the ultra-conservative Richard Mellon Scaife, the Bradley Foundation & the Olin Foundation, which was to write a booklet called "Can Government Strengthen Marriage?"

The first page of this report cites the burden that divorce and unwed childbearing places on taxpayers--if ever there was a reason to marry....

Then there is Michael McManus, founder of , (also funded by Scaife) who was paid to promote the Bush administration's Community Healthy Marriage Initiative--

McManus promoted in his columns the Bush marriage initiative he was paid to promote. On the June 30, 2004, edition of CBS' The Early Show, McManus appeared to promote Marriage Savers as an example of a marriage education program the government was funding:

McMANUS: The fact of the matter is that we are failing in half of our new marriages, and the society has to pick up the cost. You and I have to pay more in taxes as a result of the failures of these relationships.

TRACY SMITH (Early Show correspondent): So in a move to promote domestic tranquility, the federal government is getting involved. It's actually part of the welfare reauthorization bill. What it means is that the federal government is spending millions on marriage education. And that begs the question: Is marital happiness something you can teach? The answer is, you can try.

Mike and Harriet McManus, who've been married for more than two decades themselves, run Marriage Savers, a program to iron out problems before a couple says 'I do.' It all costs less than $20 a couple. The goal of government funding is to make programs like it affordable to lovebirds all over the country.

There are several states that have recently stepped up provisions in the 1996 Welfare Reform bill to create marriage education programs, Congress elminated the marriage penalty, and an inreased number of Congressional hearings have been held to discuss initiatives to promote marriage, including funding research, media projects and additional legislation--and obviously gay marriage.

Marriage--and not only gay marriage, is a hot topic for lawmakers these days.

Does it bother anyone that the government is getting so involved in such a personal aspect of our life?

What about the fact that many people aren't suited for--or don't want to get married? The National Marriage Project, an ongoing reasearch project at Rutgers university, published their
2004 State Of Our Unions Report, which cites recent Census statistics that indicate that about 30% of men and women aged 35 to 44 have never been married. This rate has been steadily increasing from 11% of men and 13% of women in 1970. Add to that divorced men & women that never remarry, and there are quite a few people in this country that are committed to a single life.

On the flipside, there are also the increasing numbers of babies born to teenagers and single parent homes--but is promoting marriage going to necessarily stop this trend? Many of these people wind up requiring government assistance--this is a problem that isn't necessarily going to be solved by marriage.

The choice of whether or not get married is certainly a personal decision and if someone chooses not to get married, they certainly should be able to do so without consequence. There is an increasing trend for people to choose to cohabitate or declare that they are "domestic partners" (heterosexuals) because they don't believe in marriage for religious or legal reasons. However by only offering certain benefits to married couples--and marriage is a religious tradition, at least 30% of the population is being penalized (not including those who have been divorced and do not remarry.)

The DHHS-sponsored report mentioned above, "Can Government Strengthen Marriage?" puts forth some Orwellianesque objectives for legislators and public policymakers to achieve in their activities in order to "strengthen marriage", such as:

Protect the boundaries of marriage.

For marriage to function as a social institution, the community must know who is married. To support marriage, laws and policies must distinguish married couples from other family and friendship units so that people and communities can tell who is married and who is not.

Treating cohabiting couples as if they were married is one example of such a legal change that tends to blur the distinction between marriage and non-marriage. The harder it is to distinguish married couples from other kinds of relationships, the harder it is for communities to reinforce norms of marital behavior, the harder it is for couples to identify the meaning of their own relationship, and the more difficult it is for marriage to fulfill its function as a social institution.

30% is not an insignificant subsection of the population--sounds like if you don't conform to this religious standard, you can kiss equality goodbye.

Treat the married couple as a social, legal, and financial unit.

Legal and public policy reforms that either treat married couples as if they were unmarried individuals or treat unmarried couples as if they were married are likely to weaken marriage as a social institution.

Sounds like an outright assault on living together.

"...any law or public policy that explicitly operates on the principle that preferences for marriage are in themselves a form of discrimination against unmarried individuals cannot be viewed as a pro-marriage initiative."

And apparently it is (but don't associate it with marriage!)

Transmit and reinforce shared norms of responsible marital behavior.


Communicate a socially shared preference for marriage as the ideal family form, particularly to young people of reproductive age.

...because marriage is normal. You have a duty to society to get married. Only abnormal people don't get married. Conform or be an outcast.

Insanity. Especially because there are many people in America that apparently could do without marriage.

posted on Apr, 24 2005 @ 01:27 PM
Marriage is quite an issue in America! Not only that there is several things that are issues of marriage

-gay marriage
-divorce rates (big one, that I'll be discussing)
-inter-racial marriage
-inter-religious marriages (two different religions)
-Forced Marriage because of pre-marital birth

The problem in America is people marry to quickly, and when they realize they lost the spark, they divorce.

These advertisements, are trying to show people that you have to be commited in a relationship. One thing I do not like, is how they DEPICT MARRIAGE for economical gain.

People should marry for love and commitment, not for money. I like how the ads are trying to increase awareness about marriage, but they are up there DEPICTING THE WRONG REASONS.

Marriage is a SACRED union between a man in the union. It is a holy act, and people are starting to become less aware of the religious factor in marriage. There are so many problems with marriage in america, the divorce rate is 50 PERCENT.

People need to make sure about things before they rush to marriage. These signs are hurting people in America, because in my opinion they are saying you HAVE TO GET MARRIED because it works.

People need to stop being idiots and take a good luck at the person they love, because once you get married, you have to live with that person until the day you die, not to the day you divorce!

posted on Apr, 25 2005 @ 12:07 PM
The issue is that the government is funding propaganda to promote marriage as the norm; while those that stay single, cohabitate, or divorce are 'abnormal'--you can imagine what that kind of smear will entail.

But what is even more troubling is that the government intends to economically and legally disadvantage those who do not conform to the 'norm' and become married. With over 30% of the population opting against marriage, this is problematic.

Marriage is a religious concept and theoretically, government shouldn't be involved in anything marriage related. However, because it has economic implications for society, governments throughout the ages have embedded marriage into its laws.

Your beliefs on marriage and how to live your life are very personal--the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. Your life should not be made more difficult because you are not conforming to a religious tradition or feel that marriage is not the proper lifestyle choice for you.

posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 06:18 AM
Married people make more money.....they also usually have more expenses when kids come into the picture.

I think there are some people in the world who quite frankly would be much happier, and wealthier, by avioding the whole game. And, well, to me, this more than likely would result in young people wanting to get married earlier. When in fact, it just might be better if they remain single till their mid-20's, get financially established, know what they want, and well, have matured a little more.

What they should be saying is parenthood=proverty when there is only one parent in the very, very careful who you chose to have your sexual relationships with. and well, some solid financial understanding would go a long way.

posted on May, 7 2005 @ 07:31 AM
I can't believe I missed this post.

I think someone should sue the government to add a disclaimer.

Side effects may include loss of home, credit rating, self esteem, freedom, half your income, bankruptcy and the best years of your life. Your chances of marriage working are exactly 50/50. Good luck with that.

posted on May, 20 2005 @ 11:14 PM
Marriages fail because one or both parties are selfish.

We live in a disposable society. Don't want to be pregnant? Kill the baby. Your spouse not acting the way you want them to? Divorce 'em.

Both parties need to work at making the marriage work. Marriage is until DEATH do you part, not until your spouse does something you don't like or until you get bored. Marriage is about selflessness.

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